Mapping the Bones by Jane Yolen

Mapping the Bones

The year is 1942, and Chaim and Gittel, Polish twins, are forced from their beautiful home and made to live in the Lodz Ghetto. Their family's cramped quarters are awful, but when even those dire circumstances become too dangerous, their parents decide to make for the nearby Lagiewniki Forest, where partisan fighters are trying to shepherd Jews to freedom in Russia. The partisans take Chaim and Gittel, with promises that their parents will catch ...

Details Mapping the Bones

TitleMapping the Bones
Release DateMar 6th, 2018
PublisherPhilomel Books
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, War, World War II, Fiction, Holocaust

Reviews Mapping the Bones

  • Kalena W
    10/5 stars, this book was phenomenal. I had a theory about this book that ultimately didn't come to happen and I am so happy. This book still had a great ending though. I love how this book was loosely based on Hansel & Gretel but still was in WWll. If you didn't look closely, or even didn't read in between the lines, you would miss the references to Hansel & Gretel. This book was still based upon and in WWll so it was a nice idea. Then this book...
  • Jen Naughton
    Mapping The BonesAh, back to 1942 and World War 2. It's been three weeks since my last historical fiction novel set in this period. It's with a heavy heart that I recommend this book. I don't want these things to have happened and yet here we are. We see the true suffering of all the victims of the Nazi regime.As the author points out in her endnotes this story has three parts, just like the story of Hansel and Gretel. Twins Chaim and Gittel's st...
  • Katie
    3.5Not as good as The Devil's Arithmetic, but what is? I DID like that this was about the overall experience about the Holocaust, not solely set in a concentration camp.The Hansel and Gretel parallels didn't work. Mostly I was just confused when they started talking about houses made of candy.
  • Lara
    This is a good book, but not an easy one. Just remember, when you're blinking back tears in parts--this is "Hansel and Gretel". Gretel will always shove the witch into the oven.
  • Ann Dague
    Not my favorite Yolen novel, but still interesting. I really liked how the novel told the story, but also had little excepts from one of the main characters looking back on events as an adult. It gave a little relief knowing that at least one of the main characters was going to survive the tragic events unfolding. There are so many exceptional novels about WWII, that this book would not be at the top of my list to recommend. Based on a variety of...
  • Ms. Yingling
    Love Yolen, need more Holocaust books, but this one was just a bit too long for my collection. May recommend that the one or two readers a year who are avid Holocaust book readers get it from the public library, but I don't think I will purchase for my middle school library.Beautifully written, compelling story, but just not what I need right now.
  • Anna
    Won from a Goodreads' giveawayThe characters may be fictional, but the events this heart wrenching story are based on are anything but fictional.Mapping the Bones follows a teenage boy Chaim, and his twin sister Gittel, after the Nazis have forced them from their home into a Jewish ghetto. From a tiny ghetto apartment, to forests, then eventually to a concentration camp, the twins find their family broken apart and their definition of normalcy fr...
  • Collette
    Remembering how much I loved "The Devil's Arithmetic" as a young girl, it is no surprise that I was taken by Jane Yolen's latest. From the moment I picked up "Mapping the Bones", I was immersed in a well-layered tale of loss, struggle, hope, humanity, and the unshakable bond of family and community. It is a tale that shifts between two characters, Chaim and Gittel --young Jewish twins living in Poland during the Holocaust. Their story parallels t...
  • Lois R. Gross
    "Sometimes I'm asked "Is it true"? And then they add, "How can it possibly be true? None of you wrote it down at the time." As if no one is ever brutalized in a war. As if the Nazis handed us a pen and paper to take notes. As if the photographs of the ovens and the chimneys, the few stick-figure survivors, the skeletal remains in mass graves aren't true enough. As if we who were witness falsified our memories."This is not the first time that Jane...
  • Amy
    Many thanks to Edelweiss and Penguin Random House for an advanced Kindle copy of this book. All opinions are my own.I was drawn to this tale of two children (Gittel and Chaim) during the Holocaust for a few reasons. 1-All of my students INHALE Holocaust books, so I like to keep a look out for new ones.2-Jane Yolen is an acclaimed author and highly recognizable in this style/genre, so I had high expectations.I was not disappointed. I have already ...
  • -Vincie-W-
    3.5 stars // This is my second book this week about young Jews fighting to survive during WWII. And I must say, Mapping the Bones is soooo much better than Orphan Monster Spy . Reasons:1) Chaim and Gittel (aka Hansel and Gretel). These twins complete each other: Gittel is Chaim's voice and strength; Chaim is Gittel's conscience and hope. You will have no trouble falling in love with their tender, effortless dynamic. “Someday we will remembe...
  • Colleen
    Historical fiction (WWII) set to the German fairy tale and of Hansel and Gretal. Twins, Chaim and Gittel, are jews that live in the Polish Ghetto in 1942. They share a small apartment with their parents and a doctor and his wife and two children, Bruno and Sophie. When the time comes and they need to flee lest they get put on the trains, the children are separated from the adults, taken hostage, and put to work in a labor camp. The story moves sl...
  • Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
    Yolen, Jane Mapping the Bones, 432 pages. Philomel, 2018. $18. Language: PG (20 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG-13 (Nazi brutality).Gittel and her twin brother Chaim are living a poor but loving existence in a Jewish ghetto when another family of four is forced into sharing their meager rooms. As the Nazi controls tighten, and the new father disappears, their parents lead all of them out into the woods and send the children of...
  • Sarah
    I received this through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Told from dual perspectives, siblings, Chaim and Gittel, this is a historical retell of Hansel and Grettel with the backdrop of the Holocaust. Chaim and his family are living in a Jewish ghetto, barely getting by, like many of their neighbors. Shortly after they are forced to live with a family of strangers, word begins to spread through the ghetto that families will be sent to t...
  • Rebecca
    Stark, bleak, and sometimes moving. This book is powerful, but not always moving. The writing sometimes got in the way. Yolen's writing was inconsistent. Sometimes the story moved quickly, other times the writing was very dry. The last 130 pages moved very quickly, but the ending was abrupt. I loved Gittle's memory sections. Those were the most powerfully written moments. The sections with the doctor were horrifying and powerful. The other sectio...
  • Maddie Russell
    Narrated by Chaim, a quiet boy who finds solace in poetry, "Mapping the Bones" follows Polish twins, Chaim and Gittel, through life in the ghetto, a perilous escape into the surrounding forests and flight toward the Soviet border guided by partisans that ends in capture by the Nazis. Placed in a work camp, the twins are surrounded by a group of young people determined to survive the harsh conditions and illnesses that sweep through the camp. A do...
  • Darla
    Thank you to Penguin Random House and Edelweiss for an ARC of this novel.This is not a light and airy book -- it brings to mind "Night" by Eli Weisel although this particular work is historical fiction. Jane Yolen does a remarkable job of sharing the minds of twins Chaim and Gittel. Chaim is economical with the spoken word, but spins evocative poems out of the words he hears around him. My favorite portions of the book were Chaim's poems. Gittel'...
  • Tiffany
    First I’d like to thank Penguin Teen for sponsoring the giveaway that I received this awesome advanced copy book from. All opinions within this review are my own.I have never been big on reading holocaust related books before (it’s just very upsetting for me) but decided to give this one a chance and I’m really happy that I did. Jane Yolen did such an amazing job writing this book and creating the world this story lives in. It brings more u...
  • Andrew
    A gripping retelling of Hansel and Gretel Hanging on the armature of the old Hans Christian Anderson tale, Hansel and Gretel comes Mapping the Bones. The story is set in WWII Poland and follows the tense lives led by Jewish twins durning the war. We see their slow starvation, their escape into the woods, their parents making the hard choice to send them off. We see their imprisonment and near-death encounter as they are surrounded by death and pa...
  • Debbie Shoulders
    Moved to the Lodz Ghetto in 1942, Chaim and Gittel, Polish twins are led to a nearby forest by their parents when they learn they are on the list for imminent transport. Their parents pass them off to Polish partisans and like the fairy tale "Hansel and Gretel, the twins must learn to survive partly by knowing who to trust and who not. Interwoven into the narrative are poems by Chaim that in their simplicity convey a complexity of ideas and Gitte...
  • Donna Dobihal Smith
    With well-drawn characters, believable settings, and a quick-paced plot, this book, based on horrific things Nazis did to children, as put forth in the author's notes, is a page-turner. It takes you into a prison of children from their point of view and does not completely hold back in describing the atrocities that took place there. Moving, compelling, interesting, at times gut-wrenching. Highly recommended.
  • Jennifer Hohenbrink
    Great YA historical fictionChaim and Gittel are twins growing up in the Jewish ghetto of Lodz. Life becomes more and more dangerous for their family. Soon they must make a fateful decision to leave their home.Chaim rarely speaks more than a dozen words in a day, but he composes lyrical poems that help him process the brutality around him. Gittel is strong and practical and always seems to understand her twin.
  • Katherine Ellen
    This is quite different than what o kory read, but it was still very powerful.It was heartbreaking. The characters went through so much during the course of the story. They grew, developed. The writing was good, the poems were well written.Overall, great story. Extremely sad. 5/5 stars. Would recommend. Would read again.
  • Megan
    Mapping the Bones was emotional, lyrical, and while heart-wrenching, inspiring. Chaim and Gittel's story is so powerful. Through Chaim's poems, the story itself, and the "Gittel Remembers" sections, there was so much emotion and so much to take in. It just shows how amazing written word can be. Totally recommend.
  • Mary Tonks
    Yet another novel reminding the reader of the atrocities of the Holocaust, this one marketed for a young adult audience. Well-written, but a tired subject. When it was said to be a story of Polish twins, I actually thought it would be about Poles, and their suffering.
  • Robin
    Although all of the war stories are bleak, this one felt like it had no humanity. I found no character to attach to or empathize with. Not that the children’s story was not heartbreaker by but the writing was stark and often dry.
  • Heather
    I thought there would be more focus on the experiments, but it was really only the last 50 pages. Also, I thought it could use a little more explanation of the experiments. Otherwise, I liked the poetry and the dual perspectives.
  • Myrna Allen
    I enjoyed this Holocaust YA read. While not as compelling as The Book Thief by Markus Zusak,I would certainly recommend Mapping the Bones. Although written for the young adult audience this book should also appeal to adults who enjoy historical fiction.
  • Bree Flea
    It's difficult to mark this book 4 stars, which means "I really liked it" considering it's about Polish Jews during World War 2. The writing was good but very intense. I also thought the ending was kind of short. I think I wanted more at the end after reading this intense, long book...